As he watches the preparations being made for the demolition of a 51-year-old fire station in Carson City, Darrin Berger feels a sense of disappointment. He is disappointed with the city and the state, but mostly disappointed at himself and his fellow residents for allowing the building to be destroyed without a fight.
"The citizens of Carson City, me included, let themselves down by being complacent and not standing up and fighting. We need to call attention to the chain of events that led up to this and prevent it from happening again," said Berger, an intern architect.
Demolition of the building, located at the southeast corner of West Musser and Curry streets, is set to begin early next week, three months after firefighters gathered for a goodbye barbecue at the building that once housed Warren Engine Company No. 1 and later the Carson City Fire Department.
"Clearly without question the building is historically significant to the community," Berger said. "We need to educate people and create an awareness and appreciation for these buildings that go beyond a boomtown facade or arched windows.
"These are significant structures and are worth keeping no matter how old they are."
Berger said that while he still holds out hope the fire station might be saved, his main goal is to raise awareness in the community and prevent other significant buildings from suffering a similar fate.
"There are a lot of worthwhile buildings in this town that need to be protected," said Berger.
Berger said Carson City residents should shoulder some of the blame for letting the demolition go forth, he said the State Historic Preservation Office is also to blame.
"They are not happy about it either but I don't think they fought hard enough to keep it around," Berger said.
State Historic Preservation Officer Ron James said that because the building is not eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, there was little his office was able to do.
"When evaluating whether or not to save a structure that is not eligible for inclusion we just aren't able to do a whole lot. We have to spend our time trying to save the buildings that are eligible," James said.
The fire station is adjacent to the old Ormsby County Courthouse which houses the Nevada Attorney General's Office and is slated to become a parking lot for that office.
- Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1217.